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Financial Filings Show Impact of Early 2020 Congressional Challengers

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WSKG) - Candidates for federal office have reported fundraising and spending numbers earlier. Challengers in New York's 22nd and 23rd districts have already declared their bids, hoping to use their early candidacies to get a leg up ahead of the 2020 race.

In the 23rd Congressional District, Tracy Mitrano lost her race against Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning) by nine points last year. She redeclared her candidacy for 2020 six days later.

“We didn’t have enough time,” Mitrano said. “People say ‘How did you lose? It was getting close. You were closing the gap.’ We didn’t have enough time.”

She faced a crowded primary requiring her and others to shell out cash and focus messaging on Democratic voters. Mitrano said part of her early declaration was so that she could use the extra time to connect with voters and spread her message.

Mitrano's also getting a jump on early fundraising as well. Between April and June she raised about $66,000.

Meanwhile in New York's 22nd District, Republican George Phillips declared his run against newly elected Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica). Phillips formally declared his candidacy in February and raised about $60,000 over the last quarter.

Both Mitrano and Phillips of them have been spending as well. Mitrano has used her funds to hire a full time campaign manager and commission a fundraising consultant. Phillips has been traveling, and hiring consultants.

They both face stiff opposition from the incumbents in terms of fundraising. Reed has over $450,000 in the bank and Brindisi over $770,000. Phillips had almost $54,000 and Mitrano had $117,000 at the end of last quarter.

Other Democrats haven’t entered the field yet in the 23rd district, but there will be a primary in the 22nd. Broome County District Attorney Steve Cornwell entered the race a few weeks ago, though he officially declared his candidacy with the Federal Elections Commission after the quarter two filing deadline so his fundraising numbers won’t be available until October.